03-03-2021  9:27 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Blumenauer, Pressley Reintroduce Legislation to Fully End Qualified Immunity

Unjust doctrine shields police officers from accountability for misconduct and criminal behavior

Ruby Haughton-Pitts’ Dismissal as Oregon AARP Director Draws Fire

State leaders, members and supporters are questioning AARP’s secrecy around the decision to fire the highly regarded leader after two years of service

All Oregonians Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine by July 1

People who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible starting March 29

City Permanently Cuts Funds to Portland Neighborhood Group

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to remove funding from Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.

NEWS BRIEFS

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

Girls Inc. of the PNW Welcomes Cyreena Boston Ashby as CEO

Boston Ashby has served as interim executive director since summer 2020, plans to focus on paths to addressing learning loss ...

Changes Made To Scheduling Vaccine Appointments via the Vaccine Information Tool

Adults who are 65 and older, and most people who are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1A in the Portland metro area, will no longer be...

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

HB 1465, To Increase the Death Tax Rate in Washington State To 40%

The Washington Policy Center's Vice President for Research, Paul Guppy today released a study on the bill ...

Sheriff's sergeant on leave over a year in sex abuse probe

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office sergeant remains on paid leave more than a year after Redmond Police started investigating him over an alleged sexual assault.A newly released police report outlines an ongoing criminal investigation into Richard...

University of Oregon to return to mostly in-person classes

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon will go back to predominately in-person instruction for the fall term, officials said. President Michael Schill says the decision was made following an announcement Friday from Gov. Kate Brown that higher education will be included in the...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has launched an investigation into alleged Israeli crimes in the Palestinian territories, plunging the court into the midst of one of the most fraught conflicts of the past half century.The...

Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee to honor civil rights icons

DETROIT (AP) — Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. was a young activist emerging from the 1961 sit-ins and Freedom Rides that fought for Black civil rights and an end to racial segregation when he received his next assignment.It was one that would help change the course of American history.“I...

NBA says million going to HBCUs through All-Star Game

ATLANTA (AP) — The last shot of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game will be worth 0,000 for either the Thurgood Marshall College Fund or United Negro College Fund, the league said Wednesday in revealing how an estimated million in charitable donations from the contest will be...

ENTERTAINMENT

6 Dr. Seuss books won't be published for racist images

BOSTON (AP) — Six Dr. Seuss books — including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo” — will stop being published because of racist and insensitive imagery, the business that preserves and protects the author's legacy...

Vanessa Bryant still perseveres after Kobe, Gigi's death

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Vanessa Bryant said she is focused on “finding the light in darkness” in an emotional interview with People magazine detailing her attempts to push forward after her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash early last year.Bryant said...

Dolly Parton on her 50th Grammy nod: 'It's always special'

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been 51 years since Dolly Parton earned her first Grammy nomination, and this year the national treasure who has won nine Grammys throughout her career is competing for her 50th honor.Parton's first Grammy nomination was at the 1970 show for “Just Someone I Used...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden health pick taking heat for support of abortion rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat from Republicans...

Biden vows enough vaccine for all US adults by end of May

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccine...

EXPLAINER: Pope's risky Iraq trip aims to boost Christians

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising...

Kremlin says Russia will respond to new Western sanctions

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin on Wednesday shrugged off new Western sanctions over the poisoning and arrest of...

Strong earthquake shakes central Greece, felt in Balkans

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of at least 6.0 struck central Greece...

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has...

Sophia Yan CNN Money

HONG KONG (CNNMoney) -- The number of Americans choosing to give up their citizenship has spiked dramatically this year as the government works to implement a new disclosure law aimed at stamping out tax evasion.

Some of the rush may be caused by Americans hoping to avoid the new disclosure requirements. Others living abroad say they are giving up their U.S. passport because they are tired of dealing with overly complicated tax filings.

Unlike most countries, the U.S. continues to tax citizens on all income, regardless of where it is earned or where they reside. For expats, filing taxes in two countries often means wrestling with a huge mountain of paperwork.

"Every year, I was spending about $600 to $700 having somebody do the tax paperwork," said Kim-Fredrik Schneider, who now resides in the U.K. and retains his Swedish passport.

Schneider, who hasn't lived in the U.S. for about 13 years, was one of about 1,809 people to renounce U.S. citizenship or give up their green cards in the first half of 2013. That's a sharp uptick from 2012, when government data showed only 932 renunciations over the entire year.

The increase comes as the U.S. prepares to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a new law that requires foreign institutions to report all assets owned by Americans.

The measure, approved by Congress in 2010, is aimed at recouping some of the hundreds of billions the government says it loses each year in unpaid taxes. The law also requires individuals with overseas assets to file additional forms.

Most people renouncing citizenship are "hardly the 'fat cat' tax exiles," said Eugene Chow of Hong Kong immigration firm Chow King & Associates.

Instead, Chow said, clients who choose to give up their citizenship are often "really very ordinary people" who find it difficult to comply with the ever-changing tax code.

Immigration lawyer Melissa Vincenty of Fragomen recalled one client, a woman nearing retirement age, who gave up her citizenship for the same reason.

She had been filing taxes as an expat for nearly four decades, and didn't want to deal with it anymore, Vincenty said.

While the paperwork is certainly a burden, concerns over wealth preservation can also be a contributing factor.

Eduardo Saverin, one of Facebook's four co-founders, is one of the wealthiest individuals to give up his passport, and has since taken up residency in Singapore.

Saverin officially expatriated from the U.S. last year, before Facebook's IPO. The Brazilian native insists he did not renounce his citizenship for tax reasons, but his move still drew criticism from high-profile lawmakers.

Even individuals who are not among the super rich are considering giving up their citizenship -- especially when lower tax rates beckon in other countries.

Americans are looking down the road at how their investments such as retirement funds will be taxed, Vincenty said.

Giving up your US citizenship, she said, is a "realistic option to be able to manage those tax burdens."

For those who haven't paid their taxes, giving up citizenship isn't an easy way out. The government can still go after former citizens if evidence of tax evasion surfaces.

Plus, there's no statute of limitations and the IRS could then collect back taxes, said Scott Michel, president of Caplin & Drysdale, an international tax law firm.

There is also a hefty exit tax applied for Americans who have assets over $2 million, he said. Even the heirs of people who have given up their passports could be responsible for taxes on inherited assets, if they remain U.S. citizens.

Chow, the Hong Kong lawyer, said this is by design.

"[The U.S.] wants to charge you for the privilege of leaving, so you won't have an incentive to get out," he said. "In their zeal to nail people with offshore accounts evading tax, they pass these rules that make life very, very difficult for ordinary people."

Taxes aside, bidding Uncle Sam farewell can be an emotional decision, Vincenty said. "Lots of people are torn about it."

Schneider framed the issue in more philosophical terms.

"Am I still American? Well, I certainly sound American; I know a heck of a lot about American culture," he said. "I haven't stopped being who I am just because I don't have a contract with the government."

 

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